Finnish countryside never ceases to amaze me, when it comes to the plethora, variety and originality of the events going on during summer. Last weekend, we visited my mother-in-law’s cottage, located near the peaceful town of Mäntyharju, approximately 2,5 hours drive from Helsinki, towards northeast. After 45 minutes of civilized socialising-the maximum amount of time I can spend with my in-laws, without ending up calling my therapist for an emergency meeting-we decided to do some exploration of the surrounding area.
It took an hour’s drive through what is-for me at least-one of the most beautiful parts of Finland, before we reached our destination, Linkkumylly. Don’t try to pronounce it, you might severely strain your tongue. Linkkumylly is located in the middle of nowhere, literary. Its lovely grounds are dotted by the main building available for celebrating special occasions, a few rental cottages, and a small café. During the summer months, the owners organize concerts and art exhibitions, but there is also fishing, canoeing and biking possibilities on offer, for the more active souls.
As soon as we arrived, I inquired on the whereabouts of the nearest loo. As a reply to my question, I was handed over a map depicting the position of not one, but seven loos, and a leaflet with information on their creators, which added to our bewilderment. It took us a while to realize that this summer’s exhibition is about “outdoor loos”, that were designed by well established Finnish designers and scattered along a forest path. But, why on earth outdoor loos? The only rational explanation I could come up with, is that in a country with hundreds of thousands of cottages, outdoor loos inevitably form a part of finnish landscape. Of course, nowadays, cottages come with en-suite bathrooms, but those cottages are mainly purposed for the city dwellers or foreigners. A real Finn would never succumb to any kind of ” modern commodities”, or at least, never admit that he has. A true summer cottage should have no en-suite WC, no running water, neither electricity for that matter. It should be in complete balance with nature. After all, relaxing in your summer cottage is about living as close to nature as possible. It is about finding your inner peace, unless of course, your in-laws happen to be around. 🙂
Here are some pictures of the design loos. Which one is your favorite? I think I would go for the round one.
….and a little extra!
Information on what is happening around Finland this summer: http://www.visitfinland.com/directory/whats-going-on/#result-section